An atheist organization forced a schoolteacher to paint over her board for student prayer requests.
The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, a division of the American Humanist Association, sent a letter to the Mississippi school district, threatening a lawsuit if teacher Randi Rogers did not remove her "prayer request" board.
"The teacher's actions in displaying the 'Prayer Requests' board, which she seems to acknowledge is illegal, and her insistence on continuing to take prayer requests and keep the board up (even if she must remove the word 'prayer') violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," the letter reads.
The Lamar County School District has since complied. The district went so far as to send memos to all principals, teachers and staff, directing them to not promote prayer or religion in school.
"After consultation with our board attorney and discussion with the LCSD board, a decision has been made to remove the prayer request board at OGMS," Superintendent Tess R. Smith wrote. "I am writing to everyone to remind you that, as public employees, you must refrain from using public classrooms to promote religion and prayer specifically."
While the school district backs down after the atheist threats, proponents of school prayer are just getting started.
"A Teacher who cares about her students enough to pray for them... Give her a RAISE!!!" Paul Roller commented on the petition.
The story is generating mixed opinions, but several supporters are coming out of the woodwork.
In a comment on a local news story, one person writes: "Well I (would) rather know my kids are learning something good than learning about sex, drugs and killing, or hating like the parents. You take (God) out of your schools, you are heading for disaster! Being a grandparent before they are 16 years of age! So go ahead! Be a nut! God bless you! And when something happens that is impossible for you to do, but you do it! Then you will know that God was in it! Let His glory shine in Lamar county schools! Thank you god! Amen!"
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